Thursday, August 7, 2008

Krendick verdict leaves void

While the debate over yesterday's not guilty verdict is just beginning, the one empty spot I have is that I wish Stephen Krendick had taken the stand.

I realize that in fighting a murder charge, maintaining silence is probably best .. and in this case, the judge agreed with the evidence (or lack of it) without Krendick having to testify.

Still, I wanted to hear his side of the story.

I wanted to know what he was thinking as the struggle in the jail cell two years ago progressed. Why he chose the actions he did. What he and the others were saying to one another as the event unfolded. And to hear him describe how he came to the conclusion that getting Mark McCullaugh under control would take extreme measures.

I've got to believe that Krendick has replayed that night in his head 1,000 times already.

I think we'd all like to hear his side .. specifically why he used pepper spray the way he did. While there was a great deal of testimony about how the large can of pepper spray was designed for riot control and how it had never been used at the jail, did anyone ever testify that they tried to stop Krendick from using it? Does that mean that the other deputies that night realized that they were in an extraordinary fight so Krendick and the others needed extraordinary measures to regain order?

Good or bad, hearing it straight from the person's mouth allows others to see a bigger picture. Again, Krendick's choice to remain silent paid off in court .. and at this point, he may never speak publicly about it and instead focus on trying to get his life back on track.

But I can't help but think that Krendick's testimony might have shed a lot of light for the Monday-morning quarterbacks on why he did what he did .. and only Stephen Krendick can provide those answers.

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